Nobusuke Kishi

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Kishi.
Nobusuke Kishi
岸 信介
Nobusuke Kishi Dec 14, 1956.jpg
Kishi in December 1956
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
31 January 1957 – 19 July 1960
Acting until 25 February 1957
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Tanzan Ishibashi
Succeeded by Hayato Ikeda
Personal details
Born (1896-11-13)13 November 1896
Tabuse, Japan
Died 7 August 1987(1987-08-07) (aged 90)
Fukuoka, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party (1955–1987)
Other political
affiliations
Imperial Rule Assistance Association (1941-1945)
Democratic Party (1952–1955)
Spouse(s) Ryoko
Children 3
Alma mater Tokyo Imperial University
Religion Shinto/Buddhism
Signature

Nobusuke Kishi (岸 信介 Kishi Nobusuke?, 13 November 1896 – 7 August 1987) was a Japanese politician and the 56th and 57th Prime Minister of Japan from 25 February 1957 to 12 June 1958, and from then to 19 July 1960. He is the maternal grandfather of Shinzō Abe, twice prime minister in 2006–2007 and 2012–present.

Early life and career[edit]

Kishi was born Nobusuke Satō in Tabuse, Yamaguchi Prefecture, but left his family at a young age to move in with the more affluent Kishi family, adopting their family name. His biological younger brother, Eisaku Satō, would also go on to become a prime minister. He is also the grandfather of the current prime minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. Kishi attended Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) and entered the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1920.[1] As a young man, Kishi was a follower of the Japanese fascist Ikki Kita whose writings called for a sort of monarchical socialism for Japan.[2]

The Economic Manager of Manchukuo[edit]

In the late 1920s, Kishi traveled around the world to study industry and industrial policy in various nations, such as the United States, Germany and the Soviet Union.[3] In 1929, he was deeply "shocked and impressed" with the Soviet First five-year plan, which left him a convinced believer in state-sponsored industrial development.[4] The fact that during the First Five Year Plan had been accompanied by immense suffering and enormous loss of life within the Soviet Union as the Soviet regime carried out a policy of breakneck industrialization with an utter disregard for human life was not a major concern for Kishi. Besides for the Five Year Plan which left Kishi with an obsession with economic planning, Kishi was also greatly impressed with the labor management theories of Frederick Winslow Taylor in the United States, the German policy of industrial cartels and the high status of German technological engineers within the German business world.[5][6]

Kishi was one of the more prominent members of a group of "reform bureaucrats" within the Japanese government who favored an etatist model of economic development with the state guiding and directing the economy.[7] From 1933 onwards, Kishi regularly attacked democracy in his speeches and praised Nazi Germany as a model for Japan.[8] Very similar in their thinking as regards the "reform bureaucrats" in their plans to do away with laissez faire capitalism were the "total war" faction within the Japanese Army who wanted Japan to become a totalitarian "national defense state" whose economy would be geared entirely towards supporting the military.[9] In the early 1930s, Kishi forged an alliance between the "total war" school in the military and the "reform bureaucrats" in the civil service.[10] In September 1931, the Kwantung Army seized the Chinese region of Manchuria ruled by the warlord Zhang Xueliang, the "Young Marshal", and turned it into the nominally independent "Empire of Manchukuo" supposedly ruled by the Emperor Puyi. Manchukuo was a sham, and in reality it was a Japanese colony; Manchuko had all the trappings of a state, but it was not a real country.[11] All of the ministers in the Manchukuo government were Chinese or Manchus, but all of the deputy ministers were Japanese, and these were the men who really ruled Manchukuo. Right from the start, the Japanese Army planned to turn Manchukuo into the industrial powerhouse of the Japanese empire, and carried out a policy of forced industrialization with a reckless disregard for human life; the model for Manchukuo was the Soviet First Five Year Plan.[12] Deeply distrustful of capitalism, the military completely excluded the Zaibatsu from investing in Manchukuo, and instead all of the industrial development of Manchuria was carried out by state-owned corporations.[13] Reflecting the military's ideas about the "national defense state", Manchukuo's industrial development was focused completely upon heavy industry such as steel production for the purposes of arms manufacture.[14] In 1935, Kishi was appointed Manchukuo's Deputy Minister of Industrial Development.[15] After his appointment, Kishi persuaded the military to allow private capital into Manchukuo, successfully arguing that the military's policy of having the state-owned corporations leading Manchukuo's industrial development was costing the Japanese state too much money.[16] Kishi envisioned a "planned economy" for Manchukuo where bureaucrats such as himself would direct the zaibatsu into selected industries, which would create the necessary industrial basis for the "national defense state". In place of the previous policy of "one industry, one firm" for Manchukuo, Kishi brought in a new policy of "all industries, one firm".[17] In order to make it profitable for the zaibatsu to invest in Mancukuo, Kishi had a policy of lowering the wages of the workers to the lowest possible point, even below the "line of necessary social reproduction" as he once put it.[18]

In 1935, he became one of the top officials involved in the industrial development of Manchukuo, where he was later accused of exploiting Chinese forced labor.[19] In 1935, Kishi introduced a Five Year Plan for Manchukuo, focusing on heavy industry intended to allow Japan to fight a "total war" with the Soviet Union or the United States by 1940.[20] Kishi spent almost all of his time in Manchukuo's capital, Hsinking (modern Changchun, China) with the exception of monthly trips to Dalian, where he indulged in his passion for women in alcohol- and sex-drenched weekends; one of Kishi's best friends later recalled that they never took their wives with them on their monthly trips to Dalian.[21] All of his friends in Manchukuo were Japanese and Kishi never associated with Chinese or any other ethnic groups in Manchuria on a social basis.[22] Kishi's dinner companions were fellow bureaucrats, businessmen seeking government contracts, Army officers and yakuza gangsters.[23] The presence of the latter was due to Kishi's involvement with the opium trade; the Manchukuo State Opium Monopoly needed distributors to move its products around the world, which in turn required contacts with the underworld in the form of the yakuza.[24]

As a self-described "playboy of the Eastern world", Kishi was known during his four years in Manchukuo for his lavish spending amid much drinking, gambling and womanizing.[25] A man with a very active sex life, Kishi when not visiting the brothels of Manchuria was demanding sex from the waitresses who served him at the expensive restaurants he patronized (Kishi seemed to have regarded sex from waitresses as an essential part of his fine dining experience).[26] Kishi was able to afford his hedonist, free-spending lifestyle as he had control of millions of yen with virtually no oversight, and additionally was deeply involved in the opium trade; it is generally believed at the time and since that Kishi engaged in corruption to enrich himself.[27] Kishi was known for his skill in laundering money and as the man who could move millions of yen "with a single telephone call".[28] During his time in Manchukuo, Kishi was able to marshal private capital in a very strongly state-directed economy to achieve vastly increased industrial production while at the same time displaying complete indifference to the exploited Chinese workers toiling in Manchukuo's factories; the American historian Mark Driscoll described Kishi's system as a “necropolitical” system where the Chinese workers were literally treated as dehumanized cogs within a vast industrial machine.[29] Kishi favored giant conglomerates as the engines of industrial growth as the best way of achieving economics of scale. The system that Kishi pioneered in Manchuria of a state-guided economy where corporations made their investments on government orders later served as the model for Japan's post-1945 development, albeit not with same level of brutal exploitation as in Manchukuo.[30] Later on, Kishi's etatist model for economic development was adopted in South Korea and China, again albeit not executed with anywhere near the same brutality as in Manchuria.[31]

The Japanese conscripted hundreds of thousands of Chinese as slave labor to work in Manchukuo's heavy industrial plants. In 1937, Kishi signed a degree calling for the use of slave labour to be conscripted both in Manchukuo and in northern China, stating that in these "times of emergency" (i.e. war with China), industry needed to grow at all costs, and slavery would have to be used as the money to pay the workers was not there.[32] The American historian Mark Driscoll wrote that just as African slaves were taken to the New World on the "Middle Passage", it would be right to speak of the "Manchurian Passage" as vast numbers of Chinese peasants were rounded up to be taken as slaves to Manchukuo.[33] A believer in the Yamato race theory, Kishi had nothing but contempt for the Chinese as a people, whom he disparaging referred to as "lawless bandits" who were "incapable of governing themselves".[34] Precisely for these racist reasons, Kishi believed there was no point to establishing the rule of law in Manchukuo as the Chinese were not capable of following laws, and instead brute force was what was needed to maintain social stability.[35] In Kishi's analogy, just as dogs were not capable of understanding such abstract concepts such as the law, but could be trained to be utterly obedient to their masters, the same went with the Chinese, whom Kishi claimed were more mentally closer to dogs than humans.[36] In this way, Kishi maintained that once the Japanese proved that they were the ones with the power, the dog-like Chinese would come to be naturally obedient to their Japanese masters, and as such the Japanese had to behave with a great deal of sternness to prove that they were the masters.[37] Kishi when speaking in private always used the term "Manchū" to refer to Manchukuo, instead of "Manchūkoku", which reflected his viewpoint that Manchukuo was not a state, but rather just a region rich in resources and 34 million people to be used for Japan's benefit.[38] In Kishi's eyes, Manchukuo and its people were literally just resources to be exploited by Japan, and he never made the pretense in private of maintaining Japanese rule was good for the people of Manchukuo.[39] Tokyo's Pan-Asian rhetoric where Manchukuo was a place where Manchus, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Mongols would all to come together to live harmoniously in Pan-Asian peace, prosperity and brotherhood meant nothing to Kishi or the other Japanese bureaucrats governing Manchukuo. Along the same lines, Kishi used very dehumanizing language to describe the Chinese such as a people good for being only "robot slaves" or as a people who should be nothing more than "mechanical instruments of the Imperial Army, non-human automatons, absolutely obedient" to their Japanese masters.[40]

In 1936, Kishi was one of the drafters of a proposed 3.13 billion yen Five Year Plan, which was intended to drastically increase industrial production both within Manchukuo and Japan itself to the point that Japan could fight a total war by 1941.[41] Kishi's "communistic" Five Year Plan created much opposition from the zaibatsu, who were not keen to see his statist Manchurian system extended to Japan; not the least because in Kishi's system, the purpose of private enterprise was to serve the state rather than make a profit, and in December 1936 following an extensive lobbying campaign by the industrialists, the Five Year Plan was rejected by the Imperial Diet.[42] Before returning to Japan in October 1939, Kishi is reported to have advised his colleges in the Manchukuo government about corruption: "Political funds should be accepted only after they have passed through a 'filter' and been 'cleansed.' If a problem arises, the 'filter' itself will then become the center of the affair, while the politician, who has consumed the 'clean water,' will not be implicated. Political funds become the basis of corruption scandals only when they have not been sufficiently 'filtered'."[43]

Minister in the Konoe and Tōjō governments[edit]

In 1940, Kishi become a minister in the government of Prince Fumimaro Konoe. Kishi intended to create within Japan the same sort of totalitarian "national defense state" that he had pioneered in Manchuria, but these plans ran into vigorous opposition from various vested interests.[44] In December 1940, Konoe dropped Kishi from his cabinet.[45] Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, himself a veteran of the Manchurian campaign, appointed Kishi Minister of Munitions in October 1941.[46] The mandate of the Tōjo government provided by the Shōwa Emperor was to prepare for Japan for a war with the United States, and to this end Tōjo appointed Kishi to his cabinet as the best man to prepare Japan economically for the "total war" he had envisioned.[47] On 1 December 1941, Kishi voted in the Cabinet for war with the United States and Britain, and signed the declaration of war issued on 7 December 1941.[48] Kishi had known General Tōjō since 1931, and was one of his closest allies in the Cabinet. Kishi was also elected to the Lower House of the Diet of Japan in April 1942 as a member of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association.[49] As Munitions Minister, Kishi was deeply involved in taking thousands of Koreans and Chinese to work as slaves in Japan's factories and mines during the war.[50] During the war, 670,000 Koreans and 41,862 Chinese were taken to work as slave labor under the most degrading conditions in Japan; the majority did not survive the experience.[51] In July 1944, Kishi made the Tojo Cabinet resign en masse by forging disagreements within the Cabinet after the fall of Saipan. After the fall of the Tōjō government, he left the Imperial Rule Assistance Association and founded a new political party, the Kishi New Party.[52] Kishi took him with 32 members of the Diet into his party. The Kishi New Party was noteworthy because none of its members were connected to the zaibatsu; instead the Kishi New Party comprised small and middle-sized businessmen who had invested in Manchukuo during Kishi's time in Manchuria or who had benefited from state contracts during Kishi's time as Munitions Minister; senior executives at the "public policy corporations" Kishi had created for investments in Manchukuo, and ultra-nationalists who had participated in coup attempts in the 1930s.[53]

The Prisoner of Sugamo[edit]

As with other members of the former Japanese government, Kishi was held at Sugamo Prison as a "Class A" war crimes suspect by the order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. The womanizing Kishi found the forced celibacy of prison life the most difficult aspect of being held in Sugamo as he was held alone in his cell; Kishi who was used to having sex dozens of times every day found the absence of women very hard to cope with.[54] During his time as a prisoner, Kishi fondly remembered his womanizing days in Manchuria in the 1930s, where he recalled: "I came so much, it was hard to clean it all up".[55] During this time, a group of influential Americans who had formed themselves into the American Council on Japan came to Kishi's aid, and lobbied the American government to release him as they considered Kishi to be the best man to lead a post-war Japan in a pro-American direction.[56] The American Council on Japan comprised the journalists Harry Kern and Compton Packenham, the lawyer James L. Kauffman, former Ambassador Joseph C. Grew, and former diplomat Eugene Dooman.[57] Unlike Hideki Tōjō (and several other Cabinet members), however, Kishi was released in 1948 and was never indicted or tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. However, he remained legally prohibited from entering public affairs because of the Allied occupation's purge of members of the old regime. In his prison diary, Kishi rejected the legitimacy of the American war crimes trials, which he called a "farce", and Kishi would spend the rest of his life working for the rehabilitation of all the war criminals convicted by the Allies after 1945.[58] During his time as a prisoner, Kishi had already began plotting his political comeback. He conceived of the idea of a mass party uniting the more moderate Socialists and conservatives into a "popular movement of national salvation", a populist party that would use statist methods to encourage economic growth and would mobilize the entire nation in support of its nationalist policies.[59]

Post-WWII political career[edit]

Nobusuke Kishi (1896–1987, left) relaxes at the house of his brother, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Eisaku Satō (1901–75), shortly after he was released from Sugamo Prison on 24 December 1948.

When the prohibition on former government members was fully rescinded in 1952 with the end of the Allied occupation of Japan, Kishi was central in creating the "Japan Reconstruction Federation" (Nippon Saiken Renmei). Besides for becoming Prime Minister, Kishi's main aim in politics was revise the American-imposed constitution, especially Article 9.[60] In a speech, he called for doing away with Article 9, saying if Japan were to become a: "respectable member (of) the community of nations it would first have to revise its constitution and rearm: If Japan is alone in renouncing war ... she will not be able to prevent others from invading her land. If, on the other hand, Japan could defend herself, there would be no further need of keeping United States garrison forces in Japan. ... Japan should be strong enough to defend herself."[61] Kishi's Japan Reconstruction Federation fared disastrously in the 1952 elections, and Kishi failed in his bid to be elected to the Diet.[62] After that defeat, Kishi disbanded his party, and tried to join the Socialists; after being rebuffed, he reluctantly joined the Liberal Party instead.[63] After being elected to the Diet as a Liberal in 1953, Kishi's main activities were undermining the leadership of the Liberal leader, Shigeru Yoshida so he could become the Liberal leader in his place.[64] Kishi's main avenues of attack were that Yoshida was far too deferential to the Americans and for the need to do away with Article 9.[65] In April 1954 Yoshida expelled Kishi for his attempts to depose him as Liberal leader.[66] By this time, the very wealthy Kishi had well over 200 members of the Diet as his loyal followers.[67] In November 1954, Kishi took his faction into Democratic Party led by Ichirō Hatoyama. Hatoyama was the party leader, but Kishi was the party-secretary, and crucially he controlled the party's finances, which thus made him the dominant force within the Democrats.[68] Elections in Japan were very expensive, so few candidates to the Diet could afford the costs of an election campaign out of their own pockets or could fund-raise enough money for a successful bid for the Diet. As a result, candidates to the Diet needed a steady infusion of money from the party-secretariat to run a winning campaign, which made Kishi a powerful force within the Democratic Party as he determined which candidates received money from the party-secretariat and how much.[69] As a result, Democratic candidates for the Diet either seeking election for the first time or reelection were constantly seeing Kishi to seek his favor. Reflecting Kishi's power as party-secretary, Hatoyama was described as an omikoshi, a type of portable Shinto shrine carried around to be worshipped.[70] Everyone bows downs and worships an omikoshi, but to move an omikoshi must be picked up and carried by somebody.

In February 1955, the Democrats won the general elections. On the day after Hatoyama was sworn in as prime minister, Kishi began talks with the Liberals about merging the two parties now that his arch-enemy Yoshida had stepped down as Liberal leader after losing the elections.[71] In November 1955, the Democratic Party and Liberal Party merged to elect Ichirō Hatoyama as the head of the new Liberal Democratic Party. Within the new party, Kishi once again become the party-secretary with control of the finances.[72] Two prime ministers later, in 1957, Kishi was voted in following the resignation of the ailing Tanzan Ishibashi.

In February 1957, Kishi become Prime Minister. His main concerns were with foreign policy, especially with revising the 1952 U.S-Japan Security Treaty, which he felt had turned Japan into a virtual American protectorate.[73] Besides his desire for an more independent foreign policy, Kishi wanted to establish close economic relations with the nations of South-East Asia to create a Japanese economic sphere of influence, which might one day become a political sphere of influence as well.[74] Finally, Kishi wanted the Allies to free all of the Class B and Class C war criminals still in serving their prison sentences, arguing that for Japan to play its role in the Cold War as a Western ally required forgetting about Japan's war crimes in the past.[75]

In the first year of Kishi's term, Japan joined the United Nations Security Council, paid reparations to Indonesia, signed a new commercial treaty with Australia, and signed peace treaties with Czechoslovakia and Poland. In 1959, he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kishi's next foreign policy initiative was much more difficult: reworking Japan's security relationship with the United States. With this in mind, Kishi wanted to revise Articles 1 and 9 of the 1947 American-imposed constitution to allow Japan to allow the Emperor to play a more active political role and for Japan to have the freedom to once again wage war.[76]

In November 1957, Kishi laid down his proposals for a revamped extension of the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. Anticipating public opposition, Kishi also brought before the Diet a harsh bill giving the police vastly new powers to crush demonstrations and to conduct searches of homes without warrants.[77][78] In response to the police bill, the Sōhyō union federation went on a general strike with the aim of killing the police bill.[79] The strike achieved its goal, and Kishi withdrew the police bill.[80] In February 1958, when the Indonesian president Sukarno visited Japan, the Tokyo police refused to provide security under the grounds that this was a private visit, not a state one.[81] At that point, Kishi asked for one of his close friends, the Yakuza gangster Kodama Yoshio to provide thugs from the underworld for Sukarno's protection.[82] During Sukarno's visit, Kishi negotiated a reparations agreement with Indonesia, where Japan agreed to provide compensation for war-time suffering.[83] Kishi's reasons for paying reparations to Indonesia had less to do with guilt over the Japanese occupation and more to do with the chances to engage in questionable contracts to reward his friends as Kishi insisted that Japan would only pay reparations in the form of goods, not money.[84] In April 1958, Kishi told the Indonesian Foreign Minister Soebandrio that he wanted Indonesia to ask to receive reparations in the form of ships built exclusively by the Kinoshita Trading Company-which happened to be run by Kinoshita Shigeru, a metal merchant and an old friend of Kishi's from their Manchurian days in the 1930s-even through the Kinoshita company had never built ships before, and there were many other well-established Japanese shipbuilders who could have provided ships at a lower price.[85] All of the reparations contracts to the nations of South-East Asia during Kishi's time as Prime Minister went to firms run by businessmen who were closely associated with him during his time in Manchuria in the 1930s.[86] Additionally, there were frequent claims that when came time to award reparations contracts that high-ranking Indonesian politicians had to receive kickbacks, and that ordinary Indonesians never received any benefits from the reparations.[87] During the same period, there were questions about the M-fund, a secret American fund intended to stabilize Japan economically.[88] The American Assistant Attorney General Norbert Schlei alleged that starting in 1957: "Beginning with Prime Minister Kishi, the Fund has been treated as a private preserve of the individuals into whose control it has fallen. Those individuals have felt able to appropriate huge sums from the Fund for their own personal and political purposes ... The litany of abuses begins with Kishi who, after obtaining control of the fund from (then Vice President Richard) Nixon, helped himself to a fortune of one trillion yen ... Kakuei Tanaka, who dominated the Fund for longer than any other individual, took from it personally some ten trillion yen ... Others who are said to have obtained personal fortunes from the Fund include Mrs. Eisaku Sato ... and Masaharu Gotoda, a Nakasone ally and former chief cabinet secretary."[89]

After closing the discussion and vote without the opposition group in the Diet of Japan, concerning his plans for a revised Security treaty in early 1960, demonstrators clashed with police in Nagatachō, at the steps of the National Diet Building. About 500 people were injured in the first month of demonstrations. Despite their magnitude, Kishi did not think much of the demonstrations, referring to them as "distasteful" and "insignificant." [90] Once the protests died down, Kishi went to Washington, and in January 1960 returned to Japan with a new and unpopular Treaty of Mutual Cooperation. On 19 January 1960 Kishi signed a new treaty with the U.S, which provided Japan with more power than the 1952 treaty, but was very unpopular with the Japanese public, who saw the treaty as allowing for Japan to once become involved in a war.[91] Demonstrations, strikes and clashes continued as the government pressed for ratification of the treaty. During this time, Kishi once again called the services of Kodama, who was asked to send his thugs out to beat up the demonstrations.[92]

When Kishi submitted the treaty to the Diet for ratification on 19 May 1960, such were the demonstrations against the treaty that 500 policemen had to assembled outside the Diet.[93] On June 10, White House Press Secretary James Hagerty arrived in preparation for a state visit of President Dwight Eisenhower. He was met at the airport by Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II. Knowing that leftist demonstrators lined the road from the airport they chose to travel by car rather than helicopter. They felt that if the demonstrators were going to resort to violence it would be better for both the US and Japanese governments to know rather than waiting to test their resolve at the arrival of the President. They also believed that if any violence ensued it would bias the Japanese populace against the demonstrators. As they approached the exit to the airport grounds a mob spearheaded by Zengakuren students closed in stoning the car, shattering windows, slashing tires, and trying to overturn them. Police reached them after 15 minutes and managed to clear a landing zone for a helicopter which transported them the rest of the way.[94] On 15 June 1960 a university student protesting against the treaty outside the Diet was killed by the police, which led to the largest demonstrations ever in Japanese history, both against police brutality and the treaty.[95] To his embarrassment, Kishi had to request the postponement of Eisenhower's state visit. The end of Eisenhower's term of office prevented it from being rescheduled.

The loss of face this entailed, along with his apparent inability to restrain the demonstrations resulted in factional disputes within the Liberal Democratic Party. On 15 July 1960 Kishi resigned and Hayato Ikeda became prime minister.

In 1965, Kishi gave a speech where he called for Japanese rearmament as “a means of eradicating completely the consequences of Japan’s defeat and the American occupation. It is necessary to enable Japan finally to move out of the post-war era and for the Japanese people to regain their self-confidence and pride as Japanese.”[96] Kishi always saw the system created by the Americans as temporary and intended that one day Japan would resume its role as a great power; in the interim, he was prepared to work within the American-created system both domestically and internationally to safeguard what he regarded as Japan's interests.[97]

On 14 December 2006, Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, made a speech in the Diet of Japan. He stated "It was Prime Minister Kishi who was instrumental in India being the first recipient of Japan's ODA. Today India is the largest recipient of Japanese ODA and we are extremely grateful to the government and people of Japan for this valuable assistance."[98]

Controversies[edit]

Kishi illustrates the ambivalent role of America in post-war Japan,[99] and the difficulty of eradicating nationalist World War II revisionism from a postwar Japan where tainted political dynasties still clung to power. As prime minister, Kishi's own legacy was ambivalent: on the one hand he worked for international peace, but on the other he promoted postwar nationalist revisionism by liberating war criminals and dedicating on Mount Sangane a headstone to General Tojo and six other war criminals executed after the Tokyo war crimes trial, marking their grave as that of "the seven patriots who died for their country".[100]

Kishi's role in the late 1950s was to consolidate the conservative camp against perceived threats from the Japan Socialist Party. He is credited with being a key player in the initiation of the "1955 System": the extended period during which the LDP was the overwhelmingly dominant political party in Japan. His actions have been described as originating the most successful money-laundering operation in the history of Japanese politics.[101]

He served as Japan's official representative at the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. He had visited Churchill in London several years before the latter's death.

Honours[edit]

From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

Order of precedence[edit]

  • Senior second rank (August 1987; posthumous)
  • Senior third rank (July 1960)
  • Senior fifth rank (September 1934)
  • Fifth rank (September 1929)
  • Senior sixth rank (September 1927)
  • Sixth rank (August 1925)
  • Senior seventh rank (October 1923)

Descendants[edit]

Shintarō Abe was Kishi's son-in-law, and his child Shinzō Abe, the current prime minister of Japan, is Kishi's grandson.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931–1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 page 29.
  2. ^ Driscoll, Mark Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895–1945 Durnham: Duke University Press, 2010 pages 255
  3. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 pages 29-30.
  4. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 pages 29-30.
  5. ^ Driscoll, Mark Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895–1945 Durnham: Duke University Press, 2010 pages 267-268
  6. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 pages 29-30.
  7. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 pages 29
  8. ^ Driscoll, Mark Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895–1945 Durnham: Duke University Press, 2010 page 269
  9. ^ Maiolo, Joseph Cry Havoc How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941, New York: Basic Books, 2010 pages 28-29
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  18. ^ Driscoll, Mark Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895–1945 Durnham: Duke University Press, 2010 pages 269
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Political offices
Preceded by
Tanzan Ishibashi
Prime Minister of Japan
Jan 1957 – Jul 1960
Succeeded by
Hayato Ikeda
Preceded by
Mamoru Shigemitsu
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dec 1956 – Jul 1957
Succeeded by
Aiichiro Fujiyama
Preceded by
Seizō Sakonji
Minister of Commerce & Industry
Oct 1941 – Oct 1943
Succeeded by
Hideki Tōjō